Dr. John R. Mosby and his counterparts at three Seattle-area universities have joined forces to declare May 13–17, 2019, as Affordable Housing Week on their campuses. Dr. Mosby signed Highline College’s proclamation on May 6, affirming the importance of safe, healthy, affordable homes in communities of opportunity.
The presidents of Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University and University of Washington — Dr. Daniel J. Martin, Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., and Dr. Ana Mari Cauce, respectively — made similar proclamations at their institutions.
The higher-education institutions join King County and 25 King County cities in recognizing the benefits of affordable housing to everyone in the community.Nationwide, 12 percent of community college students and 9 percent of university students are homeless, according to a national survey of 43,000 college students by Wisconsin HOPE Lab, summarized in an April 2018 report. The survey also found that 36 percent of university and 46 percent of community college students are housing insecure.
Students in South King County are also hit hard by lack of affordable housing, according to data from Washington school districts. During the 2017–18 school year, 3,737 students in the Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, and Tukwila school districts identified as homeless, up from 3,488 the year before.
To explore their role in addressing homelessness, local universities are hosting a first-time conference, “Higher Ed on Homelessness: Collaborating for Change,” Friday, May 10, in Seattle. About 75 to 100 faculty, staff and graduate students from more than 10 area higher-ed institutions will share their research, teaching, service learning, community engagement and advocacy best practices. The conference is hosted by Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University and University of Washington.
Affordable Housing Week, now in its fourth year, is hosted by the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County.
WHEREAS, studies have found that each $100 increase in median rent results in a 15% increase in homelessness in metro areas and a 39% increase in homelessness in nearby suburbs and rural areas; and
WHEREAS, the January 2019 Point In Time Count found 5,288 people in our county sleeping outdoors without shelter, and 124,200 households in King County are severely cost burdened because they are spending more than half of their income on rent & utilities; and
WHEREAS, there were 3,737 students in Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, and Tukwila school districts identified as homeless during the 2017–18 school year; and
WHEREAS, a 2018 national survey of 43,000 college students by Wisconsin HOPE Lab found 12 percent of community college and 9 percent of university students reported they were homeless; and
WHEREAS, the combined cost burden of housing plus transportation can be substantially reduced by locating affordable housing opportunities in proximity to transit; and
WHEREAS, the All Home community identifies affordable housing as a critical component of making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time; and
WHEREAS, everyone benefits from affordable housing, including the people who reside in these properties, their neighbors, businesses, employers, and the community as a whole; and
WHEREAS, the Association of Washington Cities determined that enhancing efforts to increase affordable housing, decrease homelessness, and improve a strained behavioral health system was a critical priority for the 2019 Legislative Session; and
WHEREAS, united in an effort to raise public awareness, communities throughout King County are participating in local Affordable Housing Week efforts to inform the public of the critical need to preserve and increase affordable housing in our communities; and
WHEREAS, Highline College endorses the goals, objectives, and purposes of Affordable Housing Week, and in doing so, recommits itself to ensuring that our community thrives with opportunity, and that all people in it live with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Highline College does hereby proclaim the week of May 13–17, 2019, as Affordable Housing Week.
Proclamation was signed May 6, 2019, by President John R. Mosby.